Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Mar 12th 2010 12:42AM by Renee Holmes
Five multifaceted members of the emotronic/disco house band Cubic Zirconia will rock the stage at SXSW looking to promote their newest album, 'Follow Your Heart.' From dance music to full-on band style, Cubic Zirconia knows how to put on a show. Spinner recently got the inside scoop from co-founder Nick Hook about the band's first trip to SXSW and their plans for the near future.
How would you describe you sound?
I guess I would say our sound is like a combination of a lot of the music we grew up listening to as kids, taking influence from a lot of different styles of music. Me and Tiombe grew up in different cities. It kind of combines elements of early Chicago house music, soul, hip hop, rock, drums, organic instruments. Our club stuff is more dance-friendly, and our record that's coming out in the summer sounds more like a band.
How did your band form?
I used to play in a band and we were kind of on the rocks. I went to see Tiombe. Sshe played solo at this club called Nublu, and it's right around the corner from my house in the East Village, and I was really impressed with what she did. She was a solo artist at the time, so I told my friend, yo man, you gotta introduce me to her. Me and another friend were making some music. I wrote her this long email and she never wrote me back, so I was like, ah, man, it's not gonna happen. But then she came to this sake bar I worked at, and we became friends and listened to a bunch of music and just started working on music. And Daud, our other keyboard player, he used to work at the bar I worked at. So we had him come along for the ride.
What are your musical influences?
I'd say, like, Dr. Dre, Betty Carter, Led Zeppelin, Prince. Obvious things that we grew up on. Not only musically, but also growing up in New York. She's from Atlanta [and] LA, and I'm from St. Louis -- kind of just the varieties of growing up in different areas.
How did your band come up with your name?
I used to watch a lot of Home Shopping Network. I was just always intrigued by cubic zirconia. We didn't have cable in St. Louis, so we only had like four channels, and the fourth one was Home Shopping Network. I kind of thought it was a good analogy to what we were doing.
How many band members are there?
Our band is interesting. We can go anywhere from two people to eight people, and sometimes it will just be Tiombe and I DJ'ing. And the second version is two keyboards, drums and singing. We also have dancers. We're bringing one of our dancers to SXSW.
Does the band have a primary writer, or does everyone contribute together?
We contribute together. Everyone will be a different catalyst for a different song. Like sometimes, Tiombe will have a song lined that we'll write the music around. Or sometimes I'll have a beat or a loop of music that gets everyone in the mindset of "Let's write a song about this."
If you could meet one musician, who would it be and why?
I always wanted to meet with Dr. Dre, because he was one of the first people to take original music and sampling and influence so many different versions of why I love music. I'd like to work on music with him.
What is the name of the upcoming album, and how do you feel that it will speak to your audience?
It's called 'Follow Your Heart.' I think it's gonna be cool because our band's premise evolves constantly, and I think that the two singles that we released so far are very club-like. Kind of dance-to-late-at-night music. When you come to see us live, we are a musical band. A lot of people around the world are still discovering what our band is. Our record is 13 songs, and we wanted that to be a journey, where you listen to the whole thing. The singles are like instant gratification, and the record is more like a timeless piece. You can listen to it in two years or now.
What is the craziest thing you've ever seen or experienced while on tour?
This one dude I thought was going to beat me up when we were all on mushrooms and acid during a performance. He really wanted to come on tour with us, and we were going onstage, and I told one of the people in our band he couldn't come on tour with us because I thought he was being all disrespectful to the girls and stuff. He heard me say we couldn't take him on tour, so I thought he was going to kill me while we were playing. My van has been stolen, friends' cars have been stolen, everything that could ever happen has happened on tour. For better or for worse -- I've also met some of the best people I've ever met and been inspired the most I've ever been.